About Canal du Midi

Luxuriate in the laid-back charm of beautiful Canal du Midi

When you choose a Canal du Midi boating holiday, you’re set to savour the slow easy pace of travel, past lush vineyards in the heart of the Languedoc wine region. Our river cruises allow you to enjoy wine tasting, cycling, and sightseeing at medieval villages and ancient fortress cities all the way from bustling Toulouse to the golden sands of the Mediterranean Sea!

 

 

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Map showing where the Canal du Midi boating region is in France

Find your bearings...

PLEASE NOTE: Our base in Trèbes will be closed until March 2022

 

Canal du Midi region map

 Base icon = Le Boat base                     Canal = Canal

The perfect boating region for...

Wine Tasting

Wine tasting in Canal Du Midi

Nestled in the Languedoc wine region, the Canal du Midi is an ideal location for wine tasting holidays. On your Canal du Midi cruise, tour vineyards, visit wine caves and taste free samples. Trèbes, Homps, Ventenac, Paraza, Marseillette and Capestang offer much for wine connoisseurs!

History & Heritage

Medieval Carcassonne near the Canal du Midi

The Canal du Midi is steeped in history and heritage. Through a Canal du Midi boat hire, you’ll see stunning cathedrals, grand châteaux, ancient ruins and medieval cities. Carcassonne is a real gem. Museum fans will love Castelnaudary, Béziers, Narbonne and Toulouse!

Gastronomy

Cassoulet -  a specialty of Castelnaudary

Friendly cafés and gourmet restaurants abound on the Canal du Midi! Try La Raffinerie in Béziers, Carcassonne’s La Marquiere and L’Arbousier in Homps. Don’t miss the slow-cooked bean and meat cassoulet (casserole), a French gastronomy specialty of Castelnaudary.

Family

City of Space near Port St. Sauveur, Toulouse

There’s something for the entire family on the Canal du Midi — amusements and rides at Luna Park in Le Cap d’ Adge and the Raymond Chésa Leisure Park near Carcassonne. The kids will love watersports at Lac de Jouarres in Homps and Toulouse’s Cité de L’Espace! Your Canal du Midi cruise will allow your children to have endless enjoyment on the most beautiful of holidays.

2020 season for this region
The 2020 season ends on the 31st October 2020. More detail and restrictions

2021 season for this region
The 2021 season starts on 26th March and ends on 31st October 2021. 

2022 season for this region
The 2022 season starts on 28th March and ends on 31st October 2022.

PLEASE NOTE: OUR BASE IN TRÈBES WILL BE CLOSED UNTIL MARCH 2022

  

Useful information

A bit of background

Truly an outstanding feat of engineering when completed in 1694, the main course of the Canal du Midi runs 240 kilometres (150 miles). Its very name is imbued with resonance—the canal of two seas—since its network of waterways connects the Atlantic to the Mediterranean and once served as a major trade route.

Its designer, Pierre-Paul Riquet, created a work of art with aqueducts, bridges, 91 locks and a tunnel. More than 42,000 plane trees line its often-shaded banks!

Canal du Midi boating holidays present an opportunity to experience this fabulous waterway firsthand with your family and friends, inviting you to travel at a pace that lets you get to meet the people and relax amidst stunning natural beauty. Canal du Midi holidays are amongst our most popular offerings, and with so many bases to choose from there’s a perfect cruise for you!

As with many great canals, the idea to build the Canal du Midi had been around a long time. In 1516, King Francis I hired Leonardo da Vinci to survey a route. When Pierre-Paul Riquet got going in 1667, one problem was how to lift boats over the 190-metre (620-foot) heights at Naurouze. Reservoirs and dams were built. You’ll see neoclassical elements in many structures on your Canal du Midi holiday! In 1996, the canal became a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Canal du Midi is easy to navigate and ideal for beginners, allowing you to make the most of your time on a family holiday.

Tips: If you are cruising down to Béziers, consider mooring at the top or bottom of the locks of Fonsérannes if you want to walk or cycle into Béziers for sightseeing.

We've partnered up with some of the best local businesses from the towns and villages along the Midi to help you get the most out of your Le Boat holiday. 

Discover our range of exclusive offers, only available to Le Boat customers. 

Take a look at our waterway and lock closures page to find out if there are any scheduled cruising restrictions that will affect your holiday plans.

Locks are fully automatic, manned and free of charge.

Opening hours:

  • During the busy summer season locks are open 09:00-19:00 (7:00 p.m.).
  • Locks are closed for lunch between 12:30-13:30 (1:30 p.m.).

Public holidays: Locks are closed on some public holidays : 1st May & 1st Nov.

Please note that the locks can get busy in peak season. Please also note that the Fonsérannes staircase has specific opening hours for rising vs down navigation

Moorings are plentiful on the Canal du Midi, most of them are offering electricity and water refill for a small charge.

You could also moor where you want to along the canal thanks to the ropes and spikes on-board your boat. Please do not cross the pathway with the ropes in order to allow the passage of walkers and cyclists.

To find out how to get to each of our bases in this boating region, as well as what facilities and amenities are available at each base or nearby, click on the relevant base below:

 

  • Hire of the boat and its onboard equipment
  • A fully equipped kitchen
  • Towels and linen for all passengers
  • A boat handling demonstration prior to departure
  • Technical support
  • On-board maps and visitor information
  • Passage through locks
  • Optional holiday extras
  • Boat damage waiver
  • Running costs (diesel, gas, engine wear and tear) - charged by the engine hour.
  • Travel to and from the base(s)
  • Waterside services if you use them (i.e. moorings where a charge is applicable, pump-out if needed, water, etc)
  • Cancellation plan & any travel/personal insurance
  • Food and drink

Download our region guide

Check out our region guideWe've produced a handy PDF guide for this region to give you an overview of all the stops and things to do along the waterway.

Download our region guide

Interactive map of the Canal du Midi

Le Boat base  = Le Boat base  Point of interest  = Point of interest

Great to see...

Must see
Toulouse

Toulouse is the fourth largest city in France and is renowned as a center of aviation and spaceflight, the home of French rugby and for being a University town. Yet the ‘Pink City’, so named because of the dusky-pink bricks used in many of its buildings, remains intimate and welcoming with a laid-back vibe. Visitors can enjoy submersing themselves in true French café culture, with a host of museums and cultural attractions to keep them occupied.

Part of the sprawling suburbs of Toulouse and a short walk or cycle from the Canal, Castanet-Tolosan has a busy shopping centre where you will find everything you should need, including local produce and crafts.

This quiet 13th century town has a Gothic church with a typical Toulouse-style bell tower – worth a 500m stroll into town for a photograph if the weather is nice. You’ll find moorings at Montigiscard Lock, with a pharmacy and a good restaurant just over the road, the Brasserie de l’Ecluse.

Gardouch is a typical village of the area. Moor here to enjoy a peaceful walk downtown. Visit the village's beautiful church and eat in one of the excellent restaurants.

This is a bustling little village which boats a fine example of a wall bell-tower, flanked on each side by two octagonal towers. There are a variety of shops, cafés and restaurants here if you fancy a 2km walk or cycle from Renneville Lock where you can moor. We can recommend La Camaretoise for excellent sweet and savoury crêpes.

Just 2km north of Port Lauragais, this sweet, little town is perched on a hill with an attractive church, tower and restored watermill to discover. There is little in the way of shops and eateries, but it’s a nice place to cycle to, if you want to expel some energy

This purpose-built tourist marina has good moorings for the night with a restaurant (La Dinée, open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has free Wi-Fi), a gourmet shop selling regional produce and a fascinating Canal du Midi exhibition behind the restaurant in Haute-Garonne House. It tells you everything you need to know about this majestic waterway: its history, its construction and its continued operation.

As well as being one of the home ports for the Le Boat Midi fleet, the historic market town of Castelnaudary is home of the Cassoulet, a regional dish of white beans and chunky pieces of pork and duck. There are several places in town claiming to serve the best. To stock up on provisions there is a Spar supermarket 1.1km away in the town centre, where there are also ATMs, etc. If you spend over €100 they will usually be able to deliver your goods to your boat. Alternatively, there’s a Netto supermarket 600m from the base, although it’s along a busy road.

If you find yourself short on provisions, this quiet little village has a bakery and a small grocery store, although don’t expect a wealth of choice. However, the 2km walk or cycle through the countryside to get there is a delight.

You will find all you need in town to replenish your provisions, including a chemist and a service station which doubles as a supermarket. Upstream of Villepinte Lock, look out for the Mézéran Aqueduct and the Villepinte Spillway which diverts excess water into the Fresquel River below.

A pretty, but quiet village built on a circular plan with a 13th century church at the heart. A pleasant walk or cycle along a pretty tree-lined avenue will take you directly to the village where you’ll find several restaurants (including a pizzeria opposite the museum), a grocery store, butcher, patisseries and several other shops. Back at your boat, why not chill with a drink after your walk/cycle at L’lle aux Oiseaux right on the canal?

Moor by the charming stone bridge, over which the road gives access to the village a short 500m away. Seek out the pretty church and clock the Sully Elm, planted in the square outside; it is one of the last elms still alive in France; all the others were killed by Dutch elm disease. You will find a grocery shop here too.

Must see
Carcassonne

After the Eiffel Tower, this citadel, known as ‘La Cité de Carcassonne’, is the second most visited tourist attraction in France. Once you catch a glimpse of the Canal du Midi's fairytale turrets and imposing walls from your boat when you approach the city, you’ll soon understand how magical it really is. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this fortified, medieval, walled city is unique in Europe by its size and its state of conservation. It is renowned for its double wall of ramparts, running nearly 3km around the perimeter and 53 conical-roofed, fairy-tale towers. 

Le Boat has a base in the thriving town of Trèbes and, whether you are starting your journey here or passing through, visitors are pleased to visit the very large supermarket, 1km from the moorings, for a chance to stock up on provisions (the base team can give you directions). Just to the southwest of Trèbes you’ll find the Cavayère Lake, a popular summer spot full of family activities including swimming, a wildlife park and adventure trails. Ask our base team for help arranging transport.

A working farm and wine domain with 12th century origins, Millepetit is home to a wonderful little cooking school. This unique French cooking class will provide you with useful skills and simple tips that will help you to create classic French cuisine with a modern twist (must be booked in advance).

There’s a handful of cafés and restaurants here but nothing else really worth stopping for. The clock tower in the centre, before it told the time, served as a relay for the first telecommunications network in the world. Marseillette is also known for growing rice (short grain, long, fragrant and red) which you will find in local shops, delicatessens and supermarkets along the canal.

This is a village full of medieval character with a lovely church... although not a great deal else! You won’t even find much in the way of shops or restaurants here. Nonetheless, you’ll enjoy a gentle saunter up and down its quiet streets.

A pretty and leafy town built around a grand Château, now a luxury hotel with an excellent restaurant. The town has a supermarket, pharmacy, bakery, butcher and a handful of restaurants. There are usually plenty of moorings either side of the bridge. Note the Argent-Double Spillway just north of the bridge where excess water passes under the arches and falls in the Argent-Double River below.

The small village of Homps, where Le Boat has a base, was for a long time an active trading port where barrels of Minervois and Corbières wine were loaded for their journey to Bordeaux. The waterside buildings testify to these bygone days. There is a grocery store, a small selection of restaurants, a wine shop and a café-bar in the village.

Must see
Minerve

If you’re up for a 12km bike ride (add bike hire to your booking, or hire them for the day from our Homps base), you can cycle from Homps to Minerve. This is one of France’s most beautiful towns, with charming cobbled streets, a maze of narrow alleys, quaint dwellings and a simple 12th century church. The town is perched high on a rocky promontory with rivers running through deep gorges on either side. It can be reached only by a high bridge and was the site of a famous siege in the medieval age.

Before you reach Argens-Minervois, (or after you leave it if you are heading west), you can get some great views over the village by scaling a short but steep path at Pechlaurier Lock which leads to a look-out. The village itself is overlooked by the square towers of a 14th century château and is a lovely little place to stop, with its narrow cobbled streets to wander around. There are ample public moorings, and there is a grocery store, a café-bar and a restaurant.

The village of Roubia is very pretty with an old stone church and tower, and there’s a grocery store and restaurant in the village.

The village of Paraza has a café-restaurant, a grocery store and a lovely church, Notre-Dame de l’Assomption, which was once located in the path of the canal. Riquet had it dismantled and rebuilt where it stands today. Inside, the nave, the choir and the vaults are adorned with beautiful stencilled decoration dating from the 19th century. There are plenty of public moorings before and after the bridge. To the west of Paraza is the Répudre Aqueduct, the first ever canal-bridge built in France and the second in the world!

This tiny village is noted for its waterside wine cellar in the attractive canal-side Château de Ventenac-en-Minervois. Here, local wines can be sampled for free under the arches of its amazing vault. For €2 you can also tour the small museum, ‘Grenier des Vignerons’, which has a collection of tools for growing grapes and winemaking from the 19th century. There are two restaurants right by the moorings.

Must see
Le Somail

Le Somail was once an important harbour for trade and served as a ‘lying’ stop for passengers coming from Sète or from Toulouse. Nowadays, it is a beautiful little Languedoc village, home to some nice restaurants, a couple of artist studios and a grocery store.

A 700m stroll along a tree-lined avenue and into town will take you to a handful of restaurants, a grocery store, a butcher, two bakeries and a café-bar.

Capestang is a small market town with a good range of shops, including a supermarket, three bakeries, several café-bars and restaurants and an impressive 14th century church. The stone bridge over the canal has the reputation of being the lowest on the canal (the lowest is actually in Carcassonne). Its curved shape makes it quite tricky to pass under – so take it slow and steady.

Poilhes is a charming canal-side village with a small shop and a handful of lovely restaurants.

The small, pretty town of Colombiers is a lively place and there is a pleasure port here with fresh water (you’ll need to buy tokens) and an electricity point. There is a supermarket, pharmacy and newsagents right at the port. After a 300m stroll into the village, you’ll find a lovely patisserie, more restaurants and a pretty church. Just to the west of the town you'll come across the Malpas Tunnel, the first canal tunnel in Europe.

Must see
Aerial view of Fonseranes Locks, Canal du Midi

Just outside the city of Béziers you will encounter one of Riquet’s most ingenious engineering solutions, the Fonserannes Locks. It’s a staircase of locks, originally composed of eight chambers in a row, which allowed boats to be raised a height of 21.5m across a distance of 300m - one of many highlights of your boat cruise. Today, only seven chambers are still in service.

Must see
Béziers

Béziers is the capital of Languedoc’s wine industry and birthplace of Pierre-Paul Riquet, who was responsible for building the Canal du Midi. Like all cities with a long history, Béziers is best discovered by ambling through its medieval streets, its bright squares and its leafy parks.

The large and lively village of Villeneuve-lès-Béziers has very good amenities including several restaurants, bars, and a Spar supermarket. This is an excellent spot to stock up on supplies.

This is a busy little town, but there’s not much to stop for besides the very large Intermarché supermarket, just 200m from the canal. However, you will need to cross a busy main road at an intersection to get there, so please take care. Moor as close as you can to the concrete bridge with green railings. There’s a smaller Spar supermarket in Villeneuve-lès-Béziers if you prefer.

This is a cheery town with a butcher and a couple of nice restaurants. It’s worth stopping at if you find yourself there when a market is on. Otherwise, don’t make any great effort to plan it into your itinerary.

Port Cassafières is a small marina where Le Boat has a base with fresh water and electricity points.

Once a Greek city, a medieval fortress and a rich village during the Renaissance, Agde was largely built using black volcanic rocks. The old town has a lovely little centre with cobbled streets full of pleasant shops, restaurants and buildings with medieval architectural details. It also has a pretty church and a local museum.

This is a busy seaside resort with a plethora of fun activities for kids, including the beach, an aquarium, a fairground and a huge waterpark. It’s about 7km from Agde Round Lock, and 5km from Bagnas Lock (should you choose to cruise further west), so you’ll need to cycle or arrange a taxi either way.

This is a charming little village, worth a stroll around to find the quirky Chapel of St. Roch and Le Calvarie, a pretty, roofed structure of stone walls and arches which is now (or soon to be) a park for the people of the village to share. In the centre, there are a couple of grocery stores, a bakery and several restaurants.

Must see
Canal in Narbonne, Canl du Midi

Narbonne has a rich heritage where grand and ancient buildings sit majestically among a network of clean, modern and lively streets and boulevards. It has a wonderful southern French atmosphere with a Spanish twist. Highlights include the Saint-Just-et-Saint-Pasteur Cathedral (the third tallest in France) and the Archbishop's Palace dating back to the Roman era. It is also home to one of Le Boat’s bases.

The town of Gruissan is a lively seaside town, full of French character and a rich history. Located 5km away from the canal on the Mediterranean coast, it is definitely worth the effort to get to. Gruissan was originally a fishing village on a small island surrounded by marshland. The narrow streets of old Gruissan village are built around the 13th century castle and form a circular pattern. In recent years, Gruissan has expanded considerably with the development of a modern yachting marina with a bar and restaurants and a casino built along the palm-lined quays.

Known as the island of a thousand scents, this is a nature reserve of exceptional beauty, comprising 825 hectares of peaceful surroundings, breath-taking vistas and abundant wildlife. Walk or cycle in the shade of pine trees on a 3km or a 7km circuit, and look out for wild pigs and deer, as well as amazing bird life.

Port-la-Nouvelle, the last town on the Embranchment de la Nouvelle, is a bustling fishing port. On the seafront you'll find many restaurants and bars, and the beach is wide and sandy - perfect for sunbathing or a day of family fun. Don't forget to try the seafood, it is as fresh as it gets!

Itinerary suggestions

To help you get an idea of how far you can travel in the time you have, here's a selection of routes to and from our bases in this region. You don't have to stop at all the places listed or follow the route exactly. So long as you return your boat to your end base by the date you've booked - you're free to enjoy your cruise however you like. For a comfortable pace, allowing you time to regularly stop and explore, we'd recommend an average of 2 - 4 hours cruising each day.

 = Click the arrow icon on each route suggestion, to flip the 'card' and reveal more details.

Fonserannes locks

Trèbes RETURN via Béziers

Trèbes
Carcassonne
Millepetit
Puicheric
Homps
Roubia
Ventenac-en-Minervois
Capestang
Colombiers
The Fonserannes Locks
Béziers
Poilhes
Argeliers
Le Somail
Paraza
Argens-Minervois
La Redorte
Marseillette
Trèbes

36 hr(s) of cruising

180km 58 lock(s) 10 nights

Trèbes RETURN via Béziers

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview:

A week-long return cruise that takes you past the Midi’s most impressive engineering feats at the Malpas Tunnel and the Fonserannes Locks. All on the way to ancient town of Béziers – birthplace of Pierre-Paul Riquet, the engineer behind the Canal du Midi.

Top highlights:

  • Historic and famous fortress at Carcassonne
  • Stunning Minerve – one of France’s most beautiful towns (accessible from Homps)
  • The Malpas Tunnel, built in just eight days and the first canal tunnel in Europe
  • Ascend the The Fonserannes Locks – a marvel of the Midi
  • Béziers, the birthplace of Pierre-Paul Riquet, the engineer behind the Canal du Midi

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Depart Trèbes: Stock up on excellent local produce including wine, olives, jams and confits. Then visit the family friendly Cavayère Lake.
  • Carcassonne: Breath-taking, UNESCO-listed, fortified citadel with 3km of ramparts, a castle, cathedral and shops and restaurants within the city walls.
  • Millepetit: Stop for a wonderful cooking school – learn how to create classic French cuisine with a modern twist!
  • Puichéric: A village full of medieval character with a lovely church and worth a stop if you love watersports – you can hire canoes, kayaks or standup paddle boards and ‘mess about’ on the adjacent River Aude.
  • Homps: The small village of Homps, where Le Boat has a base, was for a long time an active trading port where barrels of Minervois and Corbières wine were loaded for their journey to Bordeaux.
  • Roubia: Roubia is very pretty with an old stone church and tower, there’s also a grocery store and restaurant in the village.
  • Ventenac-en-Minervois: This village is noted for its waterside wine cellar in the canal-side Château de Ventenac-en-Minervois. Visit, and sample local wines for free.
  • Capestang: A small market town to stock up on provisions. Enjoy passing under the stone bridge, which is one of the lowest on the canal!
  • Colombiers: A lively place, just to the west of the town you'll come across the Malpas Tunnel, the first canal tunnel in Europe.
  • The Fonserannes Locks: Delight in ascending or descending the seven chambered Fonserannes Locks – one of the marvels of the Midi.
  • Béziers: The birthplace of Pierre-Paul Riquet, the engineer behind the Canal du Midi. Wander Béziers’s medieval streets, bright squares and leafy parks.
  • Poilhes: Poilhes is a charming canal-side village with a small shop and a handful of lovely restaurants.
  • Argeliers: A 700m stroll along a tree-lined avenue and into town will take you to a handful of restaurants, a grocery store, a butcher, two bakeries and a café-bar.
  • Le Somail: Enjoy al-fresco dining in one of the fabulous canal-side restaurant in this popular and very pretty village. Check out the books and the antique bookshop.
  • Paraza: Small village famed for its Chateau which produces excellent wine. Stop for a wine tour and tasting.
  • Argens-Minervois: Home to a 14th century château and cobbled streets, this is a lovely place to stop and enjoy the ample cafés and restaurants.
  • La Redorte: A pretty and leafy town built around a grand Chateau, now a luxury hotel with an excellent restaurant.
  • Marseillette: Famed for growing rice, a clock tower in the centre of Marseillette served as a relay for the first telecommunications network.
  • Arrive Trèbes (again)

36 hr(s) of cruising

180km 58 lock(s) 10 nights
Canal du Midi

Castelnaudary to Port Cassafières

Castelnaudary
Pexiora
Villepinte
Bram
Villesèquelande
Carcassonne
Trèbes
Millepetit
Marseillette
Puicheric
La Redorte
Homps
Argens-Minervois
Roubia
Paraza
Ventenac-en-Minervois
Le Somail
Argeliers
Capestang
Poilhes
Colombiers
The Fonserannes Locks
Béziers
Villeneuve-lès-Béziers
Cers
Portiragnes
Port Cassafières

33 hr(s) of cruising

157km 63 lock(s) 7 nights

Castelnaudary to Port Cassafières

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview:

A week-long one-way cruise that takes in most of our Canal du Midi cruising region, all the way from our base Castelnaudary in the west to Port Cassafières in the east.

Top highlights:

  • Sample the regionally famous cassoulet in Castelnaudary
  • Historic and famous fortress at Carcassonne
  • Stop for a wonderful cooking school in Millepetit
  • Winetasting at the historic Paraza Chateau
  • Ascend the The Fonserannes Locks – a marvel of the Midi

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Depart Castelnaudary: The capital of the Cassoulet (a local specialty) try some before you leave. A stroll to the Cugarel windmill for stunning views across the Black Mountains is also worthwhile.
  • Pexiora: A delightful 2km walk or cycle from the canal, this quiet village has a bakery and small grocery store.
  • Villepinte: You will find all you need in town to replenish your provisions. Upstream of Villepinte Lock, look out for the Mézéran Aqueduct.
  • Bram: A pretty and quiet village built on a circular plan with a 13th century church at the heart. Check out the Archaeology Museum to discover more than 4,000 artefacts found onsite or nearby.
  • Villesèquelande: Seek out the pretty church and clock the Sully Elm, planted in the square outside; it is one of the oldest elms still alive in France!
  • Carcassonne: Breath-taking, UNESCO-listed, fortified citadel with 3km of ramparts, a castle, cathedral and shops and restaurants within the city walls.
  • Trèbes: Stock up on excellent local produce including wine, olives, jams and confits. Then visit the family friendly Cavayère Lake. 
  • Millepetit: Stop for a wonderful cooking school – learn how to create classic French cuisine with a modern twist!
  • Marseillette: Famed for growing rice, a clock tower in the centre of Marseillette served as a relay for the first telecommunications network
  • Puichéric: A village full of medieval character with a lovely church and worth a stop if you love watersports – you can hire canoes, kayaks or standup paddle boards and ‘mess about’ on the adjacent River Aude.
  • La Redorte: A pretty and leafy town built around a grand Chateau, now a luxury hotel with an excellent restaurant..
  • Homps: The small village of Homps, where Le Boat has a base, was for a long time an active trading port where barrels of Minervois and Corbières wine were loaded for their journey to Bordeaux. 
  • Argens-Minervois: Home to a 14th century château and cobbled streets, this is a lovely place to stop and enjoy the ample cafés and restaurants.
  • Roubia: Roubia is very pretty with an old stone church and tower, there’s also a grocery store and restaurant in the village.
  • Paraza: Small village famed for its Chateau which produces excellent wine. Stop for a wine tour and tasting.
  • Ventenac-en-Minervois: This village is noted for its waterside wine cellar in the canal-side Château de Ventenac-en-Minervois. Visit, and sample local wines for free.
  • Le Somail: Enjoy al-fresco dining in one of the fabulous canal-side restaurant in this popular and very pretty village. Check out the books and the antique bookshop
  • Argeliers: A 700m stroll along a tree-lined avenue and into town will take you to a handful of restaurants, a grocery store, a butcher, two bakeries and a café-bar.
  • Capestang: A small market town to stock up on provisions. Enjoy passing under the stone bridge, which is one of the lowest on the canal!
  • Poilhes: Poilhes is a charming canal-side village with a small shop and a handful of lovely restaurants
  • Colombiers: A lively place, just to the west of the town you'll come across the Malpas Tunnel, the first canal tunnel in Europe.
  • The Fonserannes Locks: Delight in ascending or descending the seven chambered Fonserannes Locks – one of the marvels of the Midi.
  • Béziers: The birthplace of Pierre-Paul Riquet, the engineer behind the Canal du Midi. Wander Béziers’s medieval streets, bright squares and leafy parks.
  • Villeneuve-lès-Béziers: The large and lively village of Villeneuve-lès-Béziers has great restaurants and bars. It is also an excellent spot to stock up on supplies.
  • Cers: A busy little town, but there’s not much to stop for besides the very large Intermarché.
  • Portiragnes: A cheery town, stop here for the Monday morning and Tuesday morning markets.
  • Arrive Port Cassafières: Port Cassafières is a small marina where Le Boat has a base with fresh water and electricity points.

33 hr(s) of cruising

157km 63 lock(s) 7 nights
Family cruising

Trèbes to Castelnaudary via Argens-Minervois

Trèbes
Marseillette
La Redorte
Argens-Minervois
Homps
Puicheric
Millepetit
Carcassonne
Villesèquelande
Bram
Villepinte
Pexiora
Castelnaudary

32 hr(s) of cruising

118km 53 lock(s) 7 nights

Trèbes to Castelnaudary via Argens-Minervois

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview:

A week-long one-way cruise that takes in some of the Midi’s top sites, as well as some of the peaceful villages that line the banks.

Top highlights:

  • Family fun at Cavayère Lake (accessible from Trèbes)
  • Historic and famous fortress at Carcassonne
  • Stunning Minerve – one of France’s most beautiful towns (accessible from Homps)
  • Pretty Bram, laid out on a circular town-plan
  • Sample the regionally famous cassoulet in Castelnaudary

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Depart Trèbes: Stock up on excellent local produce including wine, olives, jams and confits. Then visit the family friendly Cavayère Lake.
  • Marseillette: Famed for growing rice, a clock tower in the centre of Marseillette served as a relay for the first telecommunications network.
  • La Redorte: A pretty and leafy town built around a grand Chateau, now a luxury hotel with an excellent restaurant.
  • Argens-Minervois: Home to a 14th century château and cobbled streets, this is a lovely place to stop and enjoy the ample cafés and restaurants.
  • Homps: The small village of Homps, where Le Boat has a base, was for a long time an active trading port where barrels of Minervois and Corbières wine were loaded for their journey to Bordeaux.
  • Puichéric: A village full of medieval character with a lovely church and worth a stop if you love watersports – you can hire canoes, kayaks or standup paddle boards and ‘mess about’ on the adjacent River Aude.
  • Millepetit: Stop for a wonderful cooking school – learn how to create classic French cuisine with a modern twist!
  • Carcassonne: Breath-taking, UNESCO-listed, fortified citadel with 3km of ramparts, a castle, cathedral and shops and restaurants within the city walls.
  • Villesèquelande: Seek out the pretty church and clock the Sully Elm, planted I the square outside; it is one of the oldest elms still alive in France!
  • Bram: A pretty and quiet village built on a circular plan with a 13th century church at the heart. Check out the Archaeology Museum to discover more than 4,000 artefacts found onsite or nearby.
  • Villepinte: You will find all you need in town to replenish your provisions. Upstream of Villepinte Lock, look out for the Mézéran Aqueduct.
  • Pexiora: A delightful 2km walk or cycle from the canal, this quiet village has a bakery and small grocery store.
  • Arrive Castelnaudary: The capital of the Cassoulet (a local specialty) try some before you leave. A stroll to the Cugarel windmill for stunning views across the Black Mountains is also worthwhile.

32 hr(s) of cruising

118km 53 lock(s) 7 nights
Archbishop's Palace

Homps to Trèbes via Narbonne & Carcassonne

Homps
Roubia
Ventenac-en-Minervois
Sallèles d'Aude
Narbonne
Le Somail
Paraza
Argens-Minervois
La Redorte
Puicheric
Marseillette
Millepetit
Carcassonne
Trèbes

29 hr(s) of cruising

120km 51 lock(s) 7 nights

Homps to Trèbes via Narbonne & Carcassonne

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Overview:

A week-long one-way cruise that lets you explore both the Canal du Midi and the Embranchment de la Nouvelle.

Top highlights:

  • Winetasting at the historic Paraza Chateau
  • The idyllic village of Le Somail
  • Roman Narbonne with its impressive Cathedral and Archbishop’s Palace
  • Stop for a wonderful cooking school in Millepetit
  • Historic and famous fortress at Carcassonne

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Depart Homps: The small village of Homps, where Le Boat has a base, was for a long time an active trading port where barrels of Minervois and Corbières wine were loaded for their journey to Bordeaux. 
  • Roubia: Roubia is very pretty with an old stone church and tower, there’s also a grocery store and restaurant in the village.
  • Ventenac-en-Minervois: This village is noted for its waterside wine cellar in the canal-side Château de Ventenac-en-Minervois. Visit, and sample local wines for free.
  • Sallèles d'Aude: Stroll around to find the quirky Chapel of St. Roch and Le Calvarie, then enjoy the village’s several restaurants.
  • Narbonne: Enjoy a wonderful southern French atmosphere with a Spanish twist. Visit the Saint-Just-et-Saint-Pasteur Cathedral (the third tallest in France) and the Archbishop's Palace.
  • Le Somail: Enjoy al-fresco dining in one of the fabulous canal-side restaurant in this popular and very pretty village. Check out the books and the antique bookshop.
  • Paraza: Small village famed for its Chateau which produces excellent wine. Stop for a wine tour and tasting.
  • Argens-Minervois: Home to a 14th century château and cobbled streets, this is a lovely place to stop and enjoy the ample cafés and restaurants.
  • La Redorte: A pretty and leafy town built around a grand Chateau, now a luxury hotel with an excellent restaurant.
  • Puichéric: A village full of medieval character with a lovely church and worth a stop if you love watersports – you can hire canoes, kayaks or standup paddle boards and ‘mess about’ on the adjacent River Aude.
  • Marseillette: Famed for growing rice, a clock tower in the centre of Marseillette served as a relay for the first telecommunications network
  • Millepetit: Stop for a wonderful cooking school – learn how to create classic French cuisine with a modern twist!
  • Carcassonne: Breath-taking, UNESCO-listed, fortified citadel with 3km of ramparts, a castle, cathedral and shops and restaurants within the city walls.
  • Arrive Trèbes: Stock up on excellent local produce including wine, olives, jams and confits. Then visit the family friendly Cavayère Lake.

29 hr(s) of cruising

120km 51 lock(s) 7 nights
Narbonne beach

Port Cassafières RETURN via Narbonne

Port Cassafières
Cers
Béziers
Colombiers
Capestang
Narbonne
Sallèles d'Aude
Le Somail
Argeliers
Poilhes
The Fonserannes Locks
Villeneuve-lès-Béziers
Portiragnes
Port Cassafières

27 hr(s) of cruising

128km 44 lock(s) 7 nights

Port Cassafières RETURN via Narbonne

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Overview:

A week-long return cruise past quiet villages and historic sites, all within short distance of Mediterranean beaches.

Top highlights:

  • The golden sands of the Mediterranean
  • Béziers, the birthplace of Pierre-Paul Riquet, the engineer behind the Canal du Midi
  • Descend the The Fonserannes Locks – a marvel of the Midi
  • The Malpas Tunnel, built in just eight days and the first canal tunnel in Europe
  • Roman Narbonne with its impressive Cathedral and Archbishop’s Palace

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Depart Port Cassafières: Port Cassafières is a small marina where Le Boat has a base with fresh water and electricity points.
  • Cers: A busy little town, but there’s not much to stop for besides the very large Intermarché.
  • Béziers: The birthplace of Pierre-Paul Riquet, the engineer behind the Canal du Midi. Wander Béziers’s medieval streets, bright squares and leafy parks.
  • Colombiers: A lively place, just to the west of the town you'll come across the Malpas Tunnel, the first canal tunnel in Europe.
  • Capestang: A small market town to stock up on provisions. Enjoy passing under the stone bridge, which is one of the lowest on the canal!
  • Narbonne: Enjoy a wonderful southern French atmosphere with a Spanish twist. Visit the Saint-Just-et-Saint-Pasteur Cathedral (the third tallest in France) and the Archbishop's Palace.
  • Sallèles d'Aude: Stroll around to find the quirky Chapel of St. Roch and Le Calvarie, then enjoy the village’s several restaurants.
  • Le Somail: Enjoy al-fresco dining in one of the fabulous canal-side restaurant in this popular and very pretty village. Check out the books and the antique bookshop.
  • Argeliers: A 700m stroll along a tree-lined avenue and into town will take you to a handful of restaurants, a grocery store, a butcher, two bakeries and a café-bar.
  • Poilhes: Poilhes is a charming canal-side village with a small shop and a handful of lovely restaurants
  • The Fonserannes Locks: Delight in ascending or descending the seven chambered Fonserannes Locks – one of the marvels of the Midi.
  • Villeneuve-lès-Béziers: The large and lively village of Villeneuve-lès-Béziers has great restaurants and bars. It is also an excellent spot to stock up on supplies.
  • Portiragnes: A cheery town, stop here for the Monday morning and Tuesday morning markets.
  • Arrive Port Cassafières (again)

27 hr(s) of cruising

128km 44 lock(s) 7 nights
Toulouse

Castelnaudary RETURN via Toulouse

Castelnaudary
Avignonet-Lauragais
Gardouch
Castanet-Tolosan
Toulouse
Montgiscard
Villefranche-de-Lauragais
Port-Lauragais
Castelnaudary

24 hr(s) of cruising

120km 34 lock(s) 7 nights

Castelnaudary RETURN via Toulouse

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Overview:

A week-long return cruise that takes you through tranquil villages on a quieter section of the canal, before you arrive at Toulouse with its cosmopolitan buzz and ample cultural attractions.

Top highlights:

  • Escape from it all - enjoy tranquil countryside
  • Sample the local wine in peaceful villages
  • Vibrant Toulouse with its famous ‘pink’ architecture

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Depart Castelnaudary: The capital of the Cassoulet (a local specialty) try some before you leave. A stroll to the Cugarel windmill for stunning views across the Black Mountains is also worthwhile.
  • Avignonet-Lauragais: A sweet little town perched on a hill with an attractive church, towers and restored watermill to discover.
  • Gardouch: Visit the village's beautiful church and eat in one of the excellent restaurants.
  • Castanet-Tolosan: A short distance from the Canal, Castanet-Tolosan has a busy shopping centre where you will find everything you should need.
  • Toulouse: Fourth largest city in France with a cosmopolitan vibe, strong café culture and a wealth of museums and tourist attractions.
  • Montgiscard: A quiet 13th century town with a gothic church and a good restaurant close to the lock.
  • Villefranche-de-Lauragais: 2km from Renneville Lock, you’ll find a variety of amenities and a fine example of a church with a traditional wall bell-tower.
  • Port-Lauragais: This purpose-built tourist marina has good moorings for the night with a restaurant.
  • Arrive Castelnaudary (again)

24 hr(s) of cruising

120km 34 lock(s) 7 nights
Bram

Castelnaudary RETURN via Carcassonne

Castelnaudary
Villepinte
Villesèquelande
Trèbes
Carcassonne
Bram
Pexiora
Castelnaudary

21 hr(s) of cruising

104km 48 lock(s) 7 nights

Castelnaudary RETURN via Carcassonne

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Overview:

A week-long return cruise along a peaceful section of the canal that takes in charming small villages on the way to the impressive Carcassonne.

Top highlights:

  • Historic and famous fortress at Carcassonne
  • Escape from it all - enjoy tranquil countryside
  • Enjoy the café-culture of charming canal-side villages
  • Sample the local wine in peaceful villages

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Depart Castelnaudary: The capital of the Cassoulet (a local specialty) try some before you leave. A stroll to the Cugarel windmill for stunning views across the Black Mountains is also worthwhile.
  • Villepinte: You will find all you need in town to replenish your provisions. Upstream of Villepinte Lock, look out for the Mézéran Aqueduct.
  • Villesèquelande: Seek out the pretty church and clock the Sully Elm, planted in the square outside; it is one of the oldest elms still alive in France!
  • Trèbes: Stock up on excellent local produce including wine, olives, jams and confits. Then visit the family friendly Cavayère Lake.
  • Carcassonne: Breath-taking, UNESCO-listed, fortified citadel with 3km of ramparts, a castle, cathedral and shops and restaurants within the city walls.
  • Bram: A pretty and quiet village built on a circular plan with a 13th century church at the heart. Check out the Archaeology Museum to discover more than 4,000 artefacts found onsite or nearby.
  • Pexiora: A delightful 2km walk or cycle from the canal, this quiet village has a bakery and small grocery store.
  • Arrive Castelnaudary (again)

21 hr(s) of cruising

104km 48 lock(s) 7 nights
Chateau Les Carrasses

Homps RETURN via Carcassonne

Homps
Puicheric
Millepetit
Carcassonne
Marseillette
La Redorte
Trèbes
Homps

20 hr(s) of cruising

80km 42 lock(s) 7 nights

Homps RETURN via Carcassonne

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Overview:

A week-long return cruise past some of the top sites on the Midi to the historic fortress of Carcassonne and back.

Top highlights:

  • Historic and famous fortress at Carcassonne
  • Stop for a wonderful cooking school in Millepetit
  • Enjoy the café-culture of charming canal-side villages
  • Stunning Minerve – one of France’s most beautiful towns (accessible from Homps)

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Depart Homps: The small village of Homps, where Le Boat has a base, was for a long time an active trading port where barrels of Minervois and Corbières wine were loaded for their journey to Bordeaux. 
  • Puichéric: A village full of medieval character with a lovely church and worth a stop if you love watersports – you can hire canoes, kayaks or standup paddle boards and ‘mess about’ on the adjacent River Aude.
  • Millepetit: Stop for a wonderful cooking school – learn how to create classic French cuisine with a modern twist!
  • Carcassonne: Breath-taking, UNESCO-listed, fortified citadel with 3km of ramparts, a castle, cathedral and shops and restaurants within the city walls.
  • Trèbes: Stock up on excellent local produce including wine, olives, jams and confits. Then visit the family friendly Cavayère Lake.
  • Marseillette: Famed for growing rice, a clock tower in the centre of Marseillette served as a relay for the first telecommunications network
  • La Redorte: A pretty and leafy town built around a grand Chateau, now a luxury hotel with an excellent restaurant.
  • Arrive Homps (again)

20 hr(s) of cruising

80km 42 lock(s) 7 nights
Cafe culture

Castelnaudary to Homps

Castelnaudary
Pexiora
Villepinte
Bram
Villesèquelande
Carcassonne
Trèbes
Millepetit
Marseillette
La Redorte
Puicheric
Homps

20 hr(s) of cruising

81km 45 lock(s) 7 nights

Castelnaudary to Homps

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Overview:

A week-long one-way cruise that takes in a good balance of must-see sights (including not-to-be-missed Carcassonne) as well as the quieter parts of the canal.

Top highlights:

  • Escape from it all - enjoy tranquil countryside
  • Historic and famous fortress at Carcassonne
  • Enjoy the café-culture of charming canal-side villages
  • Stunning Minerve – one of France’s most beautiful towns (accessible from Homps)
  • Winetasting at the historic Paraza Chateau

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Depart Castelnaudary: The capital of the Cassoulet (a local specialty) try some before you leave. A stroll to the Cugarel windmill for stunning views across the Black Mountains is also worthwhile.
  • Pexiora: A delightful 2km walk or cycle from the canal, this quiet village has a bakery and small grocery store.
  • Villepinte: You will find all you need in town to replenish your provisions. Upstream of Villepinte Lock, look out for the Mézéran Aqueduct.
  • Bram: A pretty and quiet village built on a circular plan with a 13th century church at the heart. Check out the Archaeology Museum to discover more than 4,000 artefacts found onsite or nearby.
  • Villesèquelande: Seek out the pretty church and clock the Sully Elm, planted in the square outside; it is one of the oldest elms still alive in France!
  • Carcassonne: Breath-taking, UNESCO-listed, fortified citadel with 3km of ramparts, a castle, cathedral and shops and restaurants within the city walls.
  • Trèbes: Stock up on excellent local produce including wine, olives, jams and confits. Then visit the family friendly Cavayère Lake.
  • Millepetit: Stop for a wonderful cooking school – learn how to create classic French cuisine with a modern twist!
  • Marseillette: Famed for growing rice, a clock tower in the centre of Marseillette served as a relay for the first telecommunications network
  • Puichéric: A village full of medieval character with a lovely church and worth a stop if you love watersports – you can hire canoes, kayaks or standup paddle boards and ‘mess about’ on the adjacent River Aude.
  • La Redorte: A pretty and leafy town built around a grand Chateau, now a luxury hotel with an excellent restaurant..
  • Arrive Homps: The small village of Homps, where Le Boat has a base, was for a long time an active trading port where barrels of Minervois and Corbières wine were loaded for their journey to Bordeaux.

20 hr(s) of cruising

81km 45 lock(s) 7 nights
Castelnaudary to Trèbes

Castelnaudary to Trèbes

Castelnaudary
Pexiora
Villepinte
Bram
Villesèquelande
Carcassonne
Trèbes

14 hr(s) of cruising

52km 31 lock(s) 4 nights

Castelnaudary to Trèbes

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Overview:

A short one-way cruise, that takes you past pretty quiet villages on your way to the magnificent Carcassonne

Top highlights:

  • Escape from it all - enjoy tranquil countryside
  • Sample the local wine in peaceful villages
  • Enjoy the café-culture of charming canal-side villages
  • Historic and famous fortress at Carcassonne

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Depart Castelnaudary: The capital of the Cassoulet (a local specialty) try some before you leave. A stroll to the Cugarel windmill for stunning views across the Black Mountains is also worthwhile.
  • Pexiora: A delightful 2km walk or cycle from the canal, this quiet village has a bakery and small grocery store.
  • Villepinte: You will find all you need in town to replenish your provisions. Upstream of Villepinte Lock, look out for the Mézéran Aqueduct.
  • Bram: A pretty and quiet village built on a circular plan with a 13th century church at the heart. Check out the Archaeology Museum to discover more than 4,000 artefacts found onsite or nearby.
  • Villesèquelande: Seek out the pretty church and clock the Sully Elm, planted in the square outside; it is one of the oldest elms still alive in France!
  • Carcassonne: Breath-taking, UNESCO-listed, fortified citadel with 3km of ramparts, a castle, cathedral and shops and restaurants within the city walls.
  • Arrive Trèbes: Stock up on excellent local produce including wine, olives, jams and confits. Then visit the family friendly Cavayère Lake. 

14 hr(s) of cruising

52km 31 lock(s) 4 nights
Béziers

Homps to Port Cassafières

Homps
Argens-Minervois
Roubia
Paraza
Ventenac-en-Minervois
Le Somail
Argeliers
Capestang
Poilhes
Colombiers
The Fonserannes Locks
Béziers
Villeneuve-lès-Béziers
Cers
Portiragnes
Port Cassafières

13 hr(s) of cruising

77km 18 lock(s) 7 nights

Homps to Port Cassafières

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Overview:

A week-long one-way cruise along an action packed section of the canal, taking in idyllic villages and the engineering marvels of the Malpas Tunnel and the Fonserannes Locks.

Top highlights:

  • Ventenac-en-Minervois' waterside wine cellar
  • The idyllic village of Le Somail
  • The Malpas Tunnel, built in just eight days and the first canal tunnel in Europe
  • Ascend the The Fonserannes Locks – a marvel of the Midi
  • Béziers, the birthplace of Pierre-Paul Riquet, the engineer behind the Canal du Midi

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Depart Homps: The small village of Homps, where Le Boat has a base, was for a long time an active trading port where barrels of Minervois and Corbières wine were loaded for their journey to Bordeaux. 
  • Argens-Minervois: Home to a 14th century château and cobbled streets, this is a lovely place to stop and enjoy the ample cafés and restaurants.
  • Roubia: Roubia is very pretty with an old stone church and tower, there’s also a grocery store and restaurant in the village.
  • Paraza: Small village famed for its Chateau which produces excellent wine. Stop for a wine tour and tasting.
  • Ventenac-en-Minervois: This village is noted for its waterside wine cellar in the canal-side Château de Ventenac-en-Minervois. Visit, and sample local wines for free.
  • Le Somail: Enjoy al-fresco dining in one of the fabulous canal-side restaurant in this popular and very pretty village. Check out the books and the antique bookshop
  • Argeliers: A 700m stroll along a tree-lined avenue and into town will take you to a handful of restaurants, a grocery store, a butcher, two bakeries and a café-bar.
  • Capestang: A small market town to stock up on provisions. Enjoy passing under the stone bridge, which is one of the lowest on the canal!
  • Poilhes: Poilhes is a charming canal-side village with a small shop and a handful of lovely restaurants
  • Colombiers: A lively place, just to the west of the town you'll come across the Malpas Tunnel, the first canal tunnel in Europe.
  • The Fonserannes Locks: Delight in ascending or descending the seven chambered Fonserannes Locks – one of the marvels of the Midi.
  • Béziers: The birthplace of Pierre-Paul Riquet, the engineer behind the Canal du Midi. Wander Béziers’s medieval streets, bright squares and leafy parks.
  • Villeneuve-lès-Béziers: The large and lively village of Villeneuve-lès-Béziers has great restaurants and bars. It is also an excellent spot to stock up on supplies.
  • Cers: A busy little town, but there’s not much to stop for besides the very large Intermarché.
  • Portiragnes: A cheery town, stop here for the Monday morning and Tuesday morning markets.
  • Arrive Port Cassafières: Port Cassafières is a small marina where Le Boat has a base with fresh water and electricity points.

13 hr(s) of cruising

77km 18 lock(s) 7 nights
Child on deck of Horizon

Homps to Trèbes via Carcassonne

Homps
La Redorte
Puicheric
Marseillette
Millepetit
Carcassonne
Trèbes

13 hr(s) of cruising

52km 28 lock(s) 4 nights

Homps to Trèbes via Carcassonne

Homps to Trèbes via Carcassonne

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Overview:

A short one-way cruise perfect for those travelling with kids. Visit Cavayère Lake and Carcassonne for family fun that is sure to keep the little ones (and big ones) entertained.

Top highlights:

  • Stunning Minerve – one of France’s most beautiful towns (accessible from Homps)
  • Family fun at Cavayère Lake (accessible from Trèbes)
  • Stop for a wonderful cooking school in Millepetit
  • Historic and famous fortress at Carcassonne

Example itinerary:

  • Depart Homps: The small village of Homps, where Le Boat has a base, was for a long time an active trading port where barrels of Minervois and Corbières wine were loaded for their journey to Bordeaux. 
  • La Redorte: A pretty and leafy town built around a grand Chateau, now a luxury hotel with an excellent restaurant.
  • Puichéric: A village full of medieval character with a lovely church and worth a stop if you love watersports – you can hire canoes, kayaks or standup paddle boards and ‘mess about’ on the adjacent River Aude.
  • Marseillette: Famed for growing rice, a clock tower in the centre of Marseillette served as a relay for the first telecommunications network.
  • Millepetit: Stop for a wonderful cooking school – learn how to create classic French cuisine with a modern twist!
  • Carcassonne: Breath-taking, UNESCO-listed, fortified citadel with 3km of ramparts, a castle, cathedral and shops and restaurants within the city walls.
  • Arrive Trèbes: Stock up on excellent local produce including wine, olives, jams and confits. Then visit the family friendly Cavayère Lake. 

13 hr(s) of cruising

52km 28 lock(s) 4 nights
Canal du Midi

Castelnaudary RETURN via Gardouch

Castelnaudary
Avignonet-Lauragais
Gardouch
Villefranche-de-Lauragais
Port-Lauragais
Castelnaudary

11 hr(s) of cruising

52km 18 lock(s) 3 nights

Castelnaudary RETURN via Gardouch

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview:

A short return cruise that takes you along a peaceful stretch of the canal with quiet villages, ideal for those looking for a relaxed getaway.

Top highlights:

  • Escape from it all - enjoy tranquil countryside
  • Sample the local wine in peaceful villages
  • Discover fine examples of traditional local churches

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Depart Castelnaudary: The capital of the Cassoulet (a local specialty) try some before you leave. A stroll to the Cugarel windmill for stunning views across the Black Mountains is also worthwhile.
  • Avignonet-Lauragais: A sweet little town perched on a hill with an attractive church, towers and restored watermill to dicsover.
  • Gardouch: Visit the village's beautiful church and eat in one of the excellent restaurants.
  • Villefranche-de-Lauragais: 2km from Renneville Lock, you’ll find a variety of amenities and a fine example of a church with a traditional wall bell-tower.
  • Port-Lauragais: This purpose-built tourist marina has good moorings for the night with a restaurant.
  • Arrive Castelnaudary (again)

11 hr(s) of cruising

52km 18 lock(s) 3 nights
Homps RETURN

Homps RETURN via Le Somail

Homps
Roubia
Ventenac-en-Minervois
Le Somail
Paraza
Argens-Minervois
Homps

11 hr(s) of cruising

40km 12 lock(s) 3 nights

Homps RETURN via Le Somail

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Overview:

A short return cruise along a section of the Midi with lots to see and to do on your way to beautiful little Languedoc village of Le Somail.

Top highlights:

  • Charming Argens-Minervois, with its cobbled streets and château
  • Winetasting at the historic Paraza Chateau
  • Ventenac-en-Minervois' waterside wine cellar
  • The idyllic village of Le Somail
  • Stunning Minerve – one of France’s most beautiful towns (accessible from Homps)

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Depart Homps: The small village of Homps, where Le Boat has a base, was for a long time an active trading port where barrels of Minervois and Corbières wine were loaded for their journey to Bordeaux. 
  • Roubia: Roubia is very pretty with an old stone church and tower, there’s also a grocery store and restaurant in the village.
  • Ventenac-en-Minervois: This village is noted for its waterside wine cellar in the canal-side Château de Ventenac-en-Minervois. Visit, and sample local wines for free.
  • Le Somail: Enjoy al-fresco dining in one of the fabulous canal-side restaurant in this popular and very pretty village. Check out the books and the antique bookshop.
  • Paraza: Small village famed for its Chateau which produces excellent wine. Stop for a wine tour and tasting.
  • Argens-Minervois: Home to a 14th century château and cobbled streets, this is a lovely place to stop and enjoy the ample cafés and restaurants.
  • Arrive Homps (again)

11 hr(s) of cruising

40km 12 lock(s) 3 nights
Cite de Carcassonne

Trèbes RETURN via Carcassonne

Trèbes
Carcassonne
Trèbes

7 hr(s) of cruising

26km 12 lock(s) 3 nights

Trèbes RETURN via Carcassonne

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Overview:

A short return cruise ideal for those looking to visit the magnificent citadel of Carcassonne - the biggest medieval construction in all of Europe.

Top highlights:

  • Historic and famous fortress at Carcassonne
  • Family fun at Cavayère Lake (accessible from Trèbes)

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Depart Trèbes: Stock up on excellent local produce including wine, olives, jams and confits. Then visit the family friendly Cavayère Lake.
  • Carcassonne: Breath-taking, UNESCO-listed, fortified citadel with 3km of ramparts, a castle, cathedral and shops and restaurants within the city walls.
  • Arrive Trèbes (again)

7 hr(s) of cruising

26km 12 lock(s) 3 nights

Our Feefo reviews

Feefo is an independent and impartial review service that requests reviews directly from those who have been on a Le Boat vacation. Below you can read what our past customers think about their Le Boat experience, and trust that what you read is unfiltered, unedited and uncensored.

Added on 25 September 2020

Christina Myers said

Very helpful in difficult circumstances for everyone Beautiful base on the Grand Bassin
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Hi Christina, Thank you for taking the time to write a five star review. We pride ourselves on delivering excellent customer service and we are delighted to hear you received just that from our teams across the business. We look forward to welcoming you onboard again soon. The Le Boat Team
Castelnaudary - Castelnaudary
Cirrus A
Added on 5 September 2020

Simon Weston said

Everything was well organised and staff friendly. The boat was very clean and tidy. friendly and helpful staff
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Dear Simon, Thank you for taking the time to write a five star review of your boating holiday in France. We pride ourselves on delivering excellent customer service and we are pleased to hear you received just that from our team in Port Cassafieres. We look forward to welcoming you back on board again soon. The Le Boat Team
Port Cassafières - Port Cassafières
Tango Boat
Added on 12 August 2020

Tim Price said

Very disappointing experience with Cassafieres site. Service was indifferent when we picked up the boat - we had had long journey and were kept waiting for over an hour to get started. No one seemed interested. There were numerous problems with the boat. When we called for information about electricity/water at one site the manager "Bob" was unhelpful and flippant. Holiday was great but there were issues with the boat and service at pick up and drop off.
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Dear Tim, Thank you for taking the time to write a review. We are sorry to read that some aspects of your cruise did not meet your expectations. We pride ourselves on delivering excellent customer service and are very sorry that you felt this was not delivered to you. We have shared your comments with the base team. The Le Boat Team
Port Cassafières - Port Cassafières
Horizon 1
Added on 27 July 2020

Deanna Swords said

Our welcome at Castelnaudary was atrocious. We were told on booking that we had the option to have extras when checking in. We were not offered any and when we asked for bikes were told there were none available. We had to take it in turns to go into the office because of their one in at a time policy even though there were staff in the office with no masks on so this rule made no sense. My husband was going to be driving so they gave him all the safety advice on locks etc even though I would be the one jumping on and off to secure the boat. We explained we had never been on boats before. After my husband and I changed places 4 times at the reception desk we were told to wait for the technician. He arrived and showed my husband how to start the boat then gave him two minutes to drive it out across the port at Castelnaudary and back and then literally said off you go. The boat wasn’t especially clean. Not horrific but considering the stringent COVID rules in the reception I would have expected the boat to be cleaner on door handles etc. The only saving grace is that it is a beautiful canal and the staff at port Cassafieres were the total opposite and extremely helpful. The technician at this port was surprised we had so little training and instructions that we managed to get the boat so far and with no damage or accidents. He also said that at their port they give a minimum 1 hour if someone had no boating experience. Also it’s worth mentioning that the lady at reception at Castelnaudary was rather abrupt considering she was supposed to be the ‘welcome’ so not the friendliest arrival we have ever experienced. The actual holiday was great and an amazing experience along the canal and I would recommend this canal to anyone.
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Dear Deanna, Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on your boating holiday with Le Boat.I’m sorry that the first impression was not as you would have wanted. We try to be clear around the processes that must be followed by both our Customers and our teams and to create the right expectations. We pride ourselves on delivering excellent customer service and are very sorry that you felt this was not delivered to you. If you have any specific problems at any time during your cruise, please bring these to the attention of our base team as they will happily help resolve these at the time. In light of your comments, we have shared your feedback with the base team.The Le Boat Team
Castelnaudary - Port Cassafières
Caprice
Added on 5 July 2020

Thomas Schandert said

Wir haben schon öfters bei Le boat die Vision gehabt. Uns gefällt das Boot und wir nehmen es immer gerne wieder. In Port Cassafieres wurden wir von Bob herzlich willkommen geheißen.Trotz Corona sehr hilfsbereit.
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Port Cassafières - Port Cassafières
Vision 3
Added on 5 July 2020

Carole Brooks said

Excellent service and communication during what was a difficult time. We had to postpone our holiday on the Canal du Midi, due to Covid, we then asked if we could take the holiday early in July as we are already living in France.This worked well as we were given an upgraded boat and a discount of £500, which we used to pay for extras. Marcus was very helpful and informative . An amazing experience.We have been planning to do this trip for almost 20 years, but due to having a young family and buying a property in Brittany, we never got round to it.. As a celebration of our Silver Wedding we decided to book a two week boat trip starting from Castelnaudry , travelling down to Beziers and returning to Castelnaudry.Being two reasonably fit 60 year olds, we were unsure as to how we would manage a mid sized boat(Horizon1) particularly the many locks, but we were fine, once our roles had been decided!!! One Captain one crew!! The elusiers were very helpful in all cases, problems with cross winds caused a few hairy moments but we loved the whole experience. It was really helpful having the booklet with the plan of the canal showing the locks, distances between each and the facilities at each town, great to be independent and able to plan daily to go with the weather . We visited some wonderful restaurants, markets a vigneron and sampled the sights of Beziers and the phenomenal Carcasonne. A once in a lifetime experience.
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Dear Carole, Thank you for writing a five star review of your boating holiday with Le Boat. We pride ourselves on delivering excellent customer service and we are delighted to hear you received just that! We will be sure to pass your comments on to the Sales Team. We look forward to welcoming you on board again soon. The Le Boat Team
Castelnaudary - Castelnaudary
Horizon 1
Added on 13 October 2019

Beth Storrs said

Le Boat is always a pleasure to work with on the phone—the website, while a million times better than it was the last time I did a vacation, needs some more user-interface testing and tweaking, I felt like the headings could have been more informative, and information was not sorted in an intuitive way. The initial pick-up process was quite thorough, and it was great to have our tech on board through the first lock. I LOVE THIS ITINERARY! It is SO relaxing and beautiful, with small villages close by the canal and larger towns further off the boat. There was enough access to supplies, even at the end of the season. We had a pilot whose idea of a relaxing time was driving—if that is not the case for your group, then one way might be a better option.
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Narbonne - Narbonne
Horizon 5
Added on 30 September 2019

Harry Small said

Staff at Le Boat bases at Castelnaudary and Port Cassifiers were helpful and friendly Beautiful scenery and villages along the route
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Castelnaudary - Port Cassafières
Clipper
Added on 29 September 2019

Norman Stephens said

The team at Homps we’re very nice and got us on our way quickly. The checkout was well done and answered all of our questions. Nice base. Big area with plenty of parking. Good restaurants close to the boat.
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Homps - Homps
Royal Mystique B
Added on 28 September 2019

Chris Mijburgh said

We had several issues with our boat. We wrote an e-mail listing all the problems. We did contact Le Boat on more than one occasion, and the feedback every time was that the technician couldn't do anything to help. We found that the technical assistance was not on standard. We were without a microwave and aircon for a couple of days. The shower and bathroom facilities at the Le Boat "ports" were not clean and not in a good condition We had a wonderful time with our friends.
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Port Cassafières - Castelnaudary
Horizon 5